Turkey unites to mark failed coup amid criticism of government crackdown

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A view of the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge close to the ceremony to commemorate the one year anniversary of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, in Istanbul, late Saturday, July 15, 2017. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with a series of events honouring some 250 people, who were killed across Turkey while trying to oppose coup-plotters. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

It’s been a year since a group of rogue army members tried to overthrow the Turkish government – and failed. 

July 15th has been declared a national holiday, dubbed ‘Democracy and National Unity Day.’

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid explains how the country marked the day.

 

 

It was one year ago when a Turkish citizen risked his life to lay down in defiance in front of a military tank to prevent a military coup in Turkey. More than 240 people died in violent clashes.

A year later, thousands marched to the ‘July 15 Martyrs Bridge’ on the Bosphorus in Istanbul with Turkish flags raised high.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked alongside families of those who died in the failed coup and unveiled a memorial that was built for the victims before giving a speech. Ceremonies to mark the day took place all across the country and a special session commemorating the victims was held at the Parliament.

The Turkish government announced Fethullah Gulen – a Muslim cleric in self-exile in the U.S., was behind the coup soon after it took place. Gulen denies the charges and Washington has so far declined to extradite him.

A state of emergency was declared after the coup attempt and has been in place ever since. While the main opposition party has called for an end to it –President Erdogan has recently stated that it will only end once the government completes its crackdown against coup suspects.


CGTN’s Susan Roberts spoke with former Turkish Parliament member Aykan Erdemir, one year after the failed coup in Turkey.